Holiday excitement filled the air as islanders gathered around Memorial Park, at the base of Spring Street in Friday Harbor, on Saturday, Dec. 1, for the annual tree lighting ceremony. The entire San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce’s Winterfest began at The Whale Museum at 3:30 p.m. with crafts and refreshments. Just before 5 p.m., the county deputies blocked the lower portion of Spring Street as people began heading to the park, where Riptide Cafe provided hot coffee and cocoa to the chilled attendees.
“Here we go, three, two, one,” said Becki Day, chamber of commerce executive director, counting down the seconds before the trees shined with white lights.
The Friday Harbor Elementary School choir, the Harmoneers, led by music teacher Steve Moore on his ukulele, sang classics carols, including “Silent Night,” “All I want for Christmas,” “Rudolf the Rednosed Reindeer” and “Felice Navidad.” Lyrics to the songs were handed out to the crowd for those who wanted to sing along.
Santa and Mrs. Claus joined in the fun, handing out candy canes and led the crowd to Brickworks, where kids could create crafts with Island Rec, and soup and refreshments were sold by the San Juan Agricultural Guild.Santa was on hand for photo ops and to hear Christmas wishes.